Seek first to understand

To: the Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

My mentor and Coach Michael M Reuter shared this wisdom

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” wrote Leonardo Da Vinci. John F. Kennedy said: “Too often, we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” Great leaders recognize that, sometimes, opinions – theirs and others – are not fact-based but simply expressions of their world-view. They realize that their ability to LISTEN and process information objectively allows them to have a greater understanding of the realities around them. It is this beautiful and robust openness to different perspectives and ideas that differentiate them and enables them to introduce and realize change.

Mother Teresa tells us: “The openness of our hearts and minds can be measured by how wide we draw the circle of what we call family.” May the circle we draw be wonderfully expansive and inclusive that our eyes, ears, and heart are opened widely to possibilities and realities yet unseen. May we remember that we don’t see things as they are, but as we are. It is the responsibility of great leaders to stand in the shoes of others that, as Stephen Covey tells us, they “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

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